DOI: 10.1101/480830Nov 29, 2018Paper

Neural circuit robustness to acute, global physiological perturbations

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Jacob RatliffTimothy O'Leary

Abstract

Neural function depends on underlying physiological processes that are highly sensitive to physical variables such as temperature. However, some robustness to perturbations in these variables manifests at the circuit level, suggesting that circuit properties are organized to tolerate consistent changes in underlying parameters. We show that a crustacean pacemaker circuit is robust to two global perturbations - temperature and pH - that differentially alter circuit properties. Consistent with high variability in underlying circuit parameters, we find that the critical temperatures and pH values where circuit activity breaks down vary widely across animals. Despite variability in critical points the network state transitions at these critical points are consistent, implying that qualitative circuit dynamics are preserved across animals, in spite of high quantitative parameter variability. Surprisingly, robustness perturbations in pH only moderately affect temperature robustness. Thus, robustness to a global perturbation does not necessarily imply sensitivity to other global perturbations.

Related Concepts

Subphylum Crustacea
Physiological Processes
Electronic Pacemaker

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